Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the category “Humor”

Holding Your Tongue

God Sorting Dirty Laundry

“Lord, make my words as sweet as honey for tomorrow I may have to eat them.”  ~ Anonymous

Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”  Proverbs 21:23

“The words of the reckless pierce like swords,but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

After regrettable words leave our lips, they seem to hang frozen in the air for an eternity. Those within earshot share in our awkward moment as everyone thinks, “Did I/they really say that? Did I/they really say that Out Loud?” If only we could reel back in our careless words before they transform themselves into destructive wrecking balls!

“But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.” James 3:8-9 (NKJV)

The tongue may be a small body part but never call it weak! It holds great power and strength. This tiny body muscle can soothe a crying baby, ease the fears of a distressed soul, or tear down the confidence of a child and annihilate a relationship. The tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21).

It is a wise man or woman who speaks few words. Even a fool is thought to be wise if he/she keeps silent (Proverbs 17:28). Additionally, the wise in heart have learned that when many words are spoken, especially in a hush, sin is not far away. A friendly conversation can quickly turn into gossip. When a simple and short explanation could suffice, why give a long list of drawn out details?

If you have been entrusted with the care of specific details in a friend’s life, you have been given a trust. Should you want to loose their friendship and find yourself avoided at her next party, go ahead and gossip. When you break a trust and confidence you not only hurt the one you are betraying, but also you hurt yourself. Quickly, a reputation will attach itself to your name; one of being deceitful, and many intimate friends will quietly drift away.

Should you acquire the reputation of being a gossip, you will not easily shake free of its grip. The damage a few words cause in a moment of time can easily take a lifetime to repair. So, consider how you would feel should your dark secrets be revealed.

“Great minds talk about idea, Average minds talk about things, Small minds talk about other people.”    ~ Unknown        http://www.tentmaker.org/Quotes/wordsquotes.htm

Sin is often confessed in our prayer closet where God forgives the truly repentant soul. However, there are also times when we share our sin and humiliation with another, asking for prayers and words of hope. Should our sins get aired in public, there are some who will judge and never forget the disclosure. The dirty laundry of our confessed sin belongs in the Lord’s laundry hamper; for there He will toss our trespasses like mismatched socks as far as the east is from the west.


“A gossip betrays a confidence;So avoid anyone who talks too much.”  Proverbs 20:19 (NIV)

“The tongue has the power of life and death,and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

“Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,and discerning if they hold their tongues.” Proverbs 17:28 (NIV)

“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19 (NKJV)

*You will find this devotion in FACING ADVERSITY WITH WISDOM, PRAISE, AND PROMISES   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Cheryl%20Zelenka&sprefix=Chery%2Caps

Are You Wearing A Face of Joy?

*Snowman Face

Are you wearing a face of JOY today??

“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.” Psalm 47:1 (NIV)

” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)

God Encourages Perseverance


James 1:2-4 speaks about the importance and value of perseverance. We can learn from this little squirrel!

I speak from personal experience, recovering from a brain tumor is not easy! Overcoming ANY adveristy is a challenge. However, we are given trials to bring about our refinement and sanctification. Endure and persevere for, like this squirrel discovers, there is a great reward at the end of the race.

” Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4(NIV)


Laughter During Seasons of Adversity

Snowman Diet
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!”  Psalm 107:19-21 (NKJV)

When adversity comes your way, it is hard to keep a sense of humor. In fact, smiling and laughing will walk out the door when grief or difficult trials hit. Of course there is an appropriate time and place for laughter, and joking when someone is in the pit of despair is highly inappropriate. However, laughter is good medicine and I want to remind those traversing through a hardship that there will be happier times in your future.

If you have suffered a loss, especially during the holiday season, I encourage you to focus on the wonder and magnificent gift of our Savior. His obedience to leave His heavenly kingdom, in order to become flesh and blood, was such an act of love. His humble birth could not stop royalty from bowing at His infant feet. Jesus has not abandoned you in your hardship. If you look closely about you, His love will be apparent everywhere.

 God bless you, dear one! I pray you find healing and peace during this holiday season. I also pray that there is a moment or two when your sorrow is swept aside and laughter fills your heart.

O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me.”  Psalm 30:2 (NKJV) 

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit drains one’s strength.” Proverbs 17:22 (NSV)

Do You Need A Giggle? A Test Of Obedience.

Silly Me
Mind you, this is EARLY in the morning and I only had 5 hours of sleep……

Job 36:11      ”If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasantness and joy.”

Dear Reader,

Lately it seems like God is sending me a lot of tests. I think He is checking to see if I love Him enough to be a fool for Him. As of late, obedience and trust have been big life lessons. However, today may just be a lesson on submission.

My friends all know that I tend to be pretty serious. However, they also know I have a weird, sometimes even bizarre sense of humor. I was at my nanny job this morning (with 2 lattes down my belt) and my ward was in the BR. I was bored. I decided to play with my iPhone. These pictures were the outcome.

You ask, “Cheryl, what on earth are these crazy photos doing on your blog??” My purpose in sharing these ridiculous photos is to simply make you smile, giggle, and laugh. I will play the fool to make you grin. I have grown in confidence since my early years. If your day starts to sour, think about silly me. Hopefully, the giggle you get from this post will carry you through the day.


God tested Abraham over and over. He tested Noah and Moses. He tests me and He will test you to see if you are faithful, obedient, loving, and able to trust in His provision.

Obey-Greek “hupakou” which means to listen attentively; by implication to head or conform to a command or authority. The word conveys the idea of ACTIVELY following a command. In other words….. there is no choice in the matter. The request is to be done whether you agree with it or not. Obedience is not involuntary.

Submit- Greek “hupeiko” which means to yield; to passively surrender to an authority. Submission is like obedience but in in this case one might question what is being commanded. Submission is voluntary.

Philemon 1:7         “For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”

Proverbs 29:25 (AKJV)    “The fear of man brings a snare: but whoever puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe.”

Weird Me

Fellowship Of Christian Bloggers


Dear Reader,

I am now a member of FOCB…. Fellowship of Christian Bloggers.  You might want to check out the many wonderful blogs listed on their site.

Blessings to you all,                                                                                                                                    Cheryl


A Smile, A Giggle, And A Doggie Reminder to Praise

1 Chronicles 16:9 Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.

Ok Readers,
It is time to send you a smile and a giggle. This dog is not only gorgeous but cool. (S)He is really groovin’ to the music.

I pray this giggle comes to mind throughout your day. Enjoy our private laugh and know that God is smiling right along with us. A sense of humor will always get you through a tough spell and help to change your perspective. Sing praises to the Lord for He is worthy of our praise!!
Hugs and much affection to you all!!



Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.          (Psalm 91:14-16)

Come on!  Isn’t this a lie and a huge contradiction?  How could a painful experience be a blessing?  Would God really make me live through a hell on earth only to bless me by walking through it?  The answer is yes, unequivocally yes.   There is no doubt.

If you don’t understand this concept your perspective is off.  Maybe you see trials as curses when you really need to change your view and see them as opportunities to learn and grow in your faith.  This then is the blessing of which I am speaking. 

God is a Master Teacher.  He knows how to get your attention, keep it, and drive home His point.  He knows how to instruct you.  If He decides to send you through a storm, it is because He wants to teach you something AND bless you. 

Maybe the blessing is an opportunity to bless someone else going through a similar trial.  Then again, maybe the painful blessing is to reveal itself down the road, in your future.  Either way, the blessing is there.  Don’t doubt it. 

Throughout your painful blessing God will be near.  He will be your strength and provider.  He will give you wisdom and direction, you need only ask.  The answers may be immediate or they may be delayed.  We are told to wait on the Lord.  His timing is perfect. So, if a prayer for wisdom is not immediate don’t think He has ignored your request.  He may be testing your willingness to be patient. He may also be lining things up and putting all the puzzle pieces into their proper place.

In Psalm 91, God promises to rescue us out of trouble and to honor us.  Imagine, HE wants to honor US!  Maybe it is your trust He wants to honor.  It could it be your faithfulness in not giving up while on your painful journey. 

Honor is defined as, “high esteem, respect.” Imagine!! 

So Dear Reader, Yes, there are painful blessing ahead in your journey.  Try not to despise them as they are blessings just the same.  Look with open eyes and see them with a positive mind.  If you are to sorrowful to see them as a blessing now, put them in your back pocket and reflect upon them tomorrow or next week.  May God give you heavenly spectacles that allow you the insight to see the blessings hidden under the pain. 

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8) 

Father,                                                                                                                          I come before Your throne with a humble and broken heart.  The trial I am living is difficult and I am weary.  I know You have much to teach me in this struggle, so I am asking for wisdom.  As James 1: 5-6 speaks of not doubting, I do not doubt that You will advise, counsel, and lead me.  I ask that You help me recognize all of the blessings You have sent my way through this trial. I thank you for them now, even though I do not recognize them this instant.  I praise Your name and I am grateful for this painful blessing.


1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)       Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.


A keen eye for detail is an asset. It pays to catch mistakes before they become problems.  This can be applied to work and to everyday life, including your walk with God.

I am sure you all have good intentions when trying to serve the Lord.  However, if you are in a ministry and you are pressed for time, details could get overlooked.  If time is an issue, preparation could also be an issue.  God wants your undivided attention and enough time to teach you the things He wants you to learn and share.

Attempts to help someone in need can be spontaneous, but many should be thought out.  If they are counting on you and you’re pressed for time, details could affect any opportunities you may have to share the Love of Christ with that person. 

I encourage you on this day, to commit to planning ahead a bit more and giving God a little more of your time.  Pay attention to the details and look for an opportunity to help someone who is going through a trial.  Remember, when you show love and give service, your blues will go away.  You will be distracted by someone else’s troubles and be blessed by the opportunity to serve them and God. 

MARK 10:45 (NIV)       For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.



Are there any small things harassing you today? Why let them push you around??
Bunny was watching the dog herding, now he thinks he can herd too.


When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Dear Reader,

This video is a bit long, but if you watch the first minute you will get the point I am trying to make.  Although the bunny is quite amazing and BOLD, he leaves the poor sheep confused, fearful, and exhausted from all the herding he is trying to accomplish.

Are there any small things harassing you today? Why let them push you around??  Can you put things into perspective?  What is REALLY important and what do you REALLY need to be afraid of or stressed by today?  This week? This year?  In fact,  remember that ‘perfect love casts out all fear’ and we are to ‘cast all of our cares before God.’

When you are going through a struggle or trial, you may feel weak and problems may seem bigger than they actually are.  Wolves in other disguises will be afoot and you must practice discernment.  Don’t let your guard down, not even when you are feeling overwhelmed.  This is when the enemy will try to separate you from the flock and try to discourage or frighten you.

Don’t let problems grow into issues that paralyze you or take you in a direction you don’t want to go.  Put on your spiritual glasses and look at the thing that is harassing you right now.  If you do this, you will probably see that the thing is really as small as the bunny rabbit and nothing you need to fear.  Stop letting it push you around.  Make a stand and hold your ground.

ROMANS 14:13 (NIV)

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

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